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Mamounia/ a dream realised

If it’s good enough for Winston Churchill, a man of epicuean not to say Falstaffian, tastes it’s good enough for Daffers.

This is a hotel I have always to stay at and with a few minor criticisms I have not been disappointed. The overwhelming feelings are those of space and excellence of standard.

When we arrived two days ago we were shown to a table in the huge lobby, brought dates and sweet milk whilst the formalities of registration were attended to.

It has lovely Moroccan features like a small tiled fountain.

We have rooms with a balcony overlooking magnificent gardens.

There is enough space for two swimming pools, three restaurants, two bars, a casino and 200 hectares of gardens. We waked round these admiringly.

There is an enormous staff each in their own uniform. Service is impeccable.

The hotel has had a total makeover with sensitivity to Moroccan architecture and culture.

The only noise you hear is of the muezzin  calling the locals to Muslim  prayer.

And now for the drawbacks.

We went down to breakfast served buffet-style by the pool. Boy was it cold. The guest next to me – a young scruffy Frenchman – had a blanket draped over his shoulder. An American preppy couple in puffa jackets on the next table complained of the lack of heat from the burners. You would have thought breakfast could have been served indoors.

There is total lack of signage.

I know at Claridges it’s the same, to encourage guest to ask a hotel worker. Nonetheless I had extreme difficulty in finding the spa and, once there, navigating around the maze.

There are far too many steps which must make life hard for the disabled.

I was disappointed by the French food in Le Francais Restaurant and the Moroccan fare in le Marocain. 

In the latter we were given a  a booth with sofa seating which was not that comfy. Worse a young family group nearby was  extremely noisy. I have always found where there are noisy kids there is invariably a noisy parent.

Sure enough a mother boomed out her order, demanded the manager and was loud beyond endurance.

A band of superannuated strolling musicians dressed in djellbas and fez reassembling something out off The Benny Hill Show added to the cacophony.

Finally my room is too dark as modern interior hotel  decorators do not seem to believe in an overhead light.

Must go in my thermals for breakfast!!!!

“Just going out for a walk, Bob and Nancy, may not be back for a while!!!”

Daphne Colthard
About Daphne Colthard

After graduating at RADA but finding no roles Daphne went into magazine journalism with Good Housekeeping. Widely recognised as one of the country's leading restaurant and hotel reviewers, particularly by herself, Daphne is the author of "Bedded and Breakfasted", a light hearted chick novel and Grand Hotels DC: the Daffers Dictionary. Daphne lives in West London and is married to an investment banker Oliver. They have 2 boys Humphrey and Tarquin. More Posts